Conservation Futures

Conservation Futures Program

The Spokane County Conservation Futures Program was conceived in 1994 with the voters approval of an advisory ballot measure authorizing a property tax levy of (up-to) 6.25-cents per $1000 of property value, in order to acquire and preserve Spokane County's open space, streams, rivers, and other natural resources. What does this mean? For a home assessed at $150,000, up to $9 per year is assessed and dedicated to the Conservation Futures fund to preserve and enhance Spokane County's quality of life.

As of July 2020,  the Conservation Futures Program has acquired over 9,145 acres through 52 acquisitions owned and managed by Spokane County, City of Spokane, and City of Cheney. To learn more about each acquisition since 1994, check out the Conservation Futures Acquisition History and a map of acquisitions to date!

Maintenance & Operations

Of the total levy revenue generated annually, 25% is dedicated toward maintaining, protecting and enhancing these properties in perpetuity. This translates into improved public access, signage, noxious weed control, and other activities that protect and enhance the public's investment.

2016 Acquisition List Adopted

In 2016, we received 38 separate nominations that were evaluated by the all-volunteer Land Evaluation Committee (LEC). The LEC developed a ranked, prioritized acquisition list of those 38 nominations and recommended said list to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration. The Board approved that list on October 11th, 2016.

Staff will use the 2016 Prioritized Acquisition List (and subsequent amendments to it) to guide future open space acquisitions over the next 5-6 years starting with the top properties on the list (see below). Staff anticipates that 3-5 properties on this list will be acquired over that time period, however, there are many variables including purchase price, outside funding opportunities, and having willing sellers that could increase or decrease that amount of properties acquired.

Conservation Futures Program Documents